Jared Gullekson, chef concierge at The London NYC, names the best places for groups celebrating a special occasion in New York City.
Start your morning as a group at Bubby’s in Tribeca, Gullekson says. With an arsenal of family recipes, the restaurant is the perfect spot to convene over good food with great company. The menu consists of comfort food dishes, and while the selections are not extensive by the numbers, the choices will please any palate. For instance, the smoked salmon platter—complete with cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, capers and cream cheese—appeals to conscious eaters; traditional appetites will savor the pancakes, which can be topped with blueberries, sauteed bananas and walnuts or maple syrup. (120 Hudson St.; 212-219-0666; bubbys.com)
Time Warner Center
Be sure to visit iconic city buildings, such as the Time Warner Center. “[It] is great for big parties,” Gullekson says. Located in Columbus Circle in Manhattan, the center boasts 2.8 million square feet of space to explore, including shops, eateries and entertainment options. After a morning of popping into boutiques, which are mostly on the ground and second levels, head up to the third and fourth floors for a bite. “Bouchon Bakery and Café and Porter House New York host groups,” Gullekson adds. (10 Columbus Circle; 212-823-6300; theshopsatcolumbuscircle.com)
To continue sightseeing without having to worry about navigating a large group around the city, Gullekson recommends chartering a yacht. World Yacht at Pier 81 can accommodate groups of any size and there is no minimum guest count to charter an entire vessel. The company can customize the event for any occasion from birthdays to anniversaries. There is also a public dinner cruise option; groups can rent the lounge space and enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner and desserts as they sail the Hudson River and New York Harbor. (West 41st Street at 12th Avenue; 212-630-8100; worldyacht.com)
The Sea Fire Grill
“There’s also The Sea Fire Grill—they’ll [sometimes] give complimentary prosecco for a celebratory occasion,” Gullekson says of another dinner option. The contemporary seafood restaurant is outfitted with large dining areas, where groups up to 75 people can enjoy their evening together. The Sea Fire Grill also boasts an impressive menu with locally sourced seafood like the American red snapper served with black trumpet mushrooms and Brussels sprouts, or the roasted whole branzino. (158 E. 48th St.; 212-935-3785; theseafiregrill.com)
For a nightcap, the city is full of places to enjoy a cocktail. “Rooftops are big enough and will work the best for a group,” Gullekson explains of viable destinations. “There’s a place called Bar 54 at the Hyatt Times Square. It’s a big space and they are good with big groups.” The outdoor terrace is the best spot for one last cheers with a creative cocktail in hand—or if the group enjoys similar tastes, order the Harvest Punch, which serves up to four guests. (135 W. 45th St.; 646-364-1234; timessquare.hyatt.com)